USDA to Temporarily Reopen FSA Offices During Shutdown

With the government shutdown now approaching its fourth week, the Farm Service Agency will temporarily reopen several of its offices to provide assistance to farmers and ranchers, the Department of Agriculture announced today. These offices will be open on Jan. 17, 22 and 28 during normal business hours.

The USDA noted that at almost half of FSA locations, staff will be available to help farmers and ranchers with existing farm loans and tax documents. Staff will also be available at certain offices to provide specific services including processing payments made on or before Dec. 31, 2018; continuing expiring financing statements; and opening mail to identify priority items.

A number of services will not be available during this time, including new loans and loan guarantees and disaster assistance programs. The USDA also announced that it will extend the application deadline for the Market Facilitation Program for a period of time equal to the number of business days the FSA was closed during the shutdown.